Michael Moorcock, ‘Stories’ (2010)

I don’t quite know what to make of this. ‘Stories’ is the first-person account of a magazine editor reflecting on his friendship with a writer named Rex Fisch, who has recently committed suicide. The idea of telling stories in both fiction and real life runs through this piece, and Moorcock is doing something of this himself here — his narrator is named ‘Mike’ and apparently modelled on himself, whilst Rex Fisch and the other characters are apparently fictional. I’ve no idea how far Moorcock has fictionalised his own life in the story — and therein lies the difficulty I had connecting with it.

The portrait of the characters’ lives and relationships is interesting enough; but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to know more about Moorcock’s life (and, perhaps, his work) to really appreciate this story. That’s why I’ve ended up feeling ambivalent about it.

Rating: ***

Elsewhere
‘Moorcock’s Miscellany’ website

2 Comments

  1. If it helps any, the character of ‘Rex Fisch’ is based on Moorcock’s friend Tom Disch – author of ‘new wave’ sf novels ECHO ROUND HIS BONES, CAMP CONCENTRATION, 334 and many others – who committed suicide in 2008. The magazine ‘Mysterious’ that ‘Mike’ edits in ‘Stories’ replaces ‘New Worlds’ which Moorcock edited in real life. “Stories” is extracted from an episode in Moorcock’s work-in-progress novel STALKING BALZAC, which according to Moorcock “expands on how Tom and I first met and at present keeps New Worlds as the magazine we all worked on”.

  2. David Hebblethwaite

    3rd August 2010 at 9:58 am

    Thanks, David — that makes things a lot clearer. It’s interesting that ‘Stories’ is an extract from a longer work; I wish the anthology had mentioned that.

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